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Speed Tec began business without permits

Speed Tec Automotive Group asked for a one month extension on its plan at the Jan. 13 Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors' meeting.

The company has to provide a land development plan. Engineer Phil Malitsch said it was operational without a zoning permit.

The planning commission previously said it has to be brought into compliance. Variance requests were brought to planning.

Supervisor Keith Hantz asked if the prior use would cover the permits.

Solicitor David Backenstoe said sometimes a business can change from one nonconforming use to another but the decision is up to zoning officer Laura Harrier.

In the absence of Supervisor Darryl Snover, there were four members present, with the members taking a 2-2 vote.

Hantz asked why Harrier did not issue a cease-and-desist order. The matter was postponed until the Jan. 27 meeting at which time Harrier's opinion will be sought.

Malitsch presented a sketch plan for an 80 by 120 foot maintenance building and expects to have a plan in place in a week or two.

The weapons ordinance has not been advertised. It preempts any municipality's ordinance covering ownership, possession, transfer, transportation and ammunition, and provides for penalties if anyone runs afoul of the law. Weapons are defined in two categories: firearms and bow and arrows.

Police Chief Scott Fogel said guns are used in a residential area to dispose of varmints. He said he believes guns should not be used so close to homes, however.

He was asked about private shooting ranges. The supervisors said they are not sure what is appropriate for private ranges.

Backenstoe said the matter will be reviewed at the next meeting.

The transportation projects for which the township will seek grants must be presented to the county committee as a PowerPoint presentation.

Subdivision and zoning fees have been raised to cover costs. Residential and commercial will both be increased by $250.

Supervisor Sandy Hopkins said she would like to see a tax summary each month so the supervisors have a better idea of revenue coming in. She said the township does not have a list of exempt-from-taxation properties. She said years ago supervisors were provided lists of exonerations. The school district has been contacted about its properties.

Township Manager Alice Rehrig said the tax collection committee requires a deputy tax collector.

Backenstoe said he will look at the information she has.

Lehigh tax collector Mary Trexler said her box would be turned over to the township if she were unable to do the job in the future.

Hantz made a motion to pay $500 for awards to be presented to firemen and volunteers at the annual banquet.

Fogel said insurance companies want copies of the paperwork covering a vehicle crash and suggested raising the fee to $300 to be in line with the state.

He also believes there should be a $10 fee for fingerprint services.

Backenstoe requested a synopsis be submitted of the costs to clarify the raises.

Hopkins said Best Buy will recycle computer products at a rate of three per single visit but people can return with another three on a successive day. Staples also recycles.